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Tablet Technology's place in Hospitality

23rd Feb 12
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Handheld technology for wait staff has been around since the 1990s with a number of companies in New Zealand leading the industry with these products.  New Zealand has always been a technology leader and in the 1990’s these were received with interest and trepidation.  Things have come a long way in the last 20+ years and the most significant change has been the advent of IPhones, IPads, Windows 7 and Google’s Android phones and handheld units.

Not many staff that are employed now days are not used to using a tablet and smart phone as an everyday device.  These devises are now a normal part of life and hospitality staff and customers are now more accepting of this technology in their businesses than the 1990s.

Toy versus Tool!

Handheld wait staff terminals are not just a fancy gadget to make the restaurant look tech savvy, they are not just a way of reducing the cost of note pads or a way to reduce the time staff spend walking to and from the kitchen.

While all of the above are valid reasons for implementing handhelds in a restaurant the real benefit of them are as a tool to increase customer service and your customer’s spend.  A properly designed and implemented handheld will provide information to the wait staff on food & wine matches, on the guests previous orders and todays specials. Effectively trained staff can provide greater customer service by being fully attentive to their tables. Effectively trained staff can manage their guests evening by “calling away” the mains when they are required and request a bill to be brought to the table at the end of the evening.

Modern technology with effective training will increase your customer’s satisfaction and service and increase your business turnover and profit.

Where is Tablet technology heading?

Since the IPad v1 hit the market, quickly followed by Windows 7 and Android tablets, restaurants have been looking for ways to use them to enhance the customer experience.  Restaurants in Australia and the United States have used them to replace staff and allow customers to order directly from the tablet to the kitchen.  This is a contentious direction of the technology and not a direction that is globally supported in many restaurants.

But tablet technology has a place in a number of environments that enhance the guests experience without removing the important human touch of quality wait staff. 

Table technology is being used to deliver high quality, highly informative and visually pleasing wine cellar information. Allowing the guest to select their wine based on the food match to the restaurant available meals, search through the cellar for exclusive bottle of their favourite wine. 

Cocktails books in tablets can be used as a great customer experience similar to the wine cellar but also as a tool to the bar staff with mixology instructions, correct glass selections and blending

Tablets can help Risk Adverse Customers!

I think we all have our favourite Indian, Chinese, Moroccan or Thai restaurant. The selection is usually fantastic and full of many great dishes with many great images and fantastic ingredients. But instead of the many fantastic dishes like Palak Paneer the risk adverse customer goes back to what they know and chooses Butter Chicken.  

New tablet technology allow the shy customers to get a more interactive menu than a standard printed one and rather than feel they are embarrassing themselves by asking a simple question about a common dish they can read all about it, how it is cooked, where it comes from and what the ingredients are and make a new selection that leaves them wanting more. They don’t need to wonder what Peking duck is and how it is presented; instead they can enjoy the fantastic flavours of one of Beijing's famous meals.  

In summary, the latest technology is there to enhance the customer experience, improve customer service and as a tool to increase the businesses turnover and profit.  Handheld and Tablet technology is changing every day and the software is continually being developed to make the life of all wait staff and hospitality owners easier.

For more information or previous articles feel free to contact Menumate in Australia on 1300 886942 or New Zealand on 0800 657300 or via email on sales@menumate.com.

 

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Filed under PalmMate - Hand Helds

Add a comment1 Comment

Reply Alex | June 4th, 2012 at 10:27am
Hi there. I just wanted to irnofm you, that there's a little problem with the rss feeds. Now there is just one topic shown, and not the newest one. Hope that helps

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